Let it grow: Dig the big holes while the air is cooler

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2006

So, we’re entering March.

Spring is in the air, even though it’s hidden behind 36 degree temperatures.

I’m taking advantage of the last days of winter to move a couple of trees that I planted in the wrong place.

I’ll still have to baby them during the first couple of months, but you can still move trees and shrubs fairly safely this time of year.

Be sure to dig a large root ball and try not to disturb any of the soil around the roots.

Dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball and twice as deep to allow the roots to go deep.

Backfill the hole so that the plant’s root system is at about the same level with the ground as it was in its old home.

Next, I’m going to build a faux creek.

I have a slight drainage problem, since my house is on the down side of a hill.

Water runs toward the front of the house from the street and the half-terra cotta French drain pipes can’t handle the heavy rains.

I will dig shallow trenches away from each side of the house so that the French drains will run into them.

Then, I’ll dig extensions of the trenches along the sides of the house, down the hill to the &8220;woodsy&8221; area of the property in the back.

The trench will be about 10 inches deep and two feet wide.

After digging the trenches, I’ll pour in some large river rock to decorate them.

Then, as I have time this spring and summer, I’ll add plants that can tolerate extra water to each side of my dry gulch.

Since most of the hard labor will be done while the temperatures are still cool, I should be able to do this without breaking a sweat … unless I hit a shallow water line.

Perhaps I’ll call Alabama One Call first.

If you’re planning on digging, you should, too. The service is free and the call is a local number, 252-4444.

Good luck with your digging projects.

For more on these and other gardening tips listen to Home Grown Tomatoes every Saturday morning from 6-8 a.m. on 101.1 FM or log on to www.HGTradio.net. We’re now live on the Internet every Saturday morning. Log on from anywhere in the world